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A Parent's Bill of Rights

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
July 27, 2022 12:00 am

A Parent's Bill of Rights

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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July 27, 2022 12:00 am

What does God mean when He tells us to honor our fathers and mothers? Is this just a rule for kids or is it for adults as well? In this message Stephen explains the 5th commandment and shows us how to obey it practically.

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Is it any wonder girls between the age of 12 and 17 get pregnant every year and over half by the way will abort that child. 10 million teenagers have venereal disease and every day 5,000 teenagers are infected. One child in five uses drugs twice a week and it could go on and on and on and on. I've heard parents say, oh I don't want to pressure my children into adopting my set of values. I want you to wake up.

You know why? Because your child is being pressured to adopt a set of values already. The question is who has the upper hand?

Who has the most impact? I'm glad you've joined us on this vintage wisdom series through the book of Exodus. The Bible has quite a bit to say about family life. There are admonitions for fathers and mothers as well as instruction for children. Today on Wisdom for the Heart, Steven Davey is discussing the parent child relationship. We're in a series on the Ten Commandments and today we come to this command, honor your father and mother.

How do we do that? And what can parents do to help children obey that command? Let's find out. Steven called this lesson a parent's bill of rights. We're going to turn the tables a little bit. We hear a lot today about the rights of the child, equal rights amendment for the child, the year of the child, don't infringe on their particular bents and all of that. Yet we're going to go to the scripture and discover I believe what is a balance and that is the parent's bill of rights.

There is balance in that, don't misunderstand. And in fact if you have your Bibles turned to Luke chapter 2, as we find in implicit teaching four needs that all children have, the first is found in chapter 2. All four in fact in verse 52. But let's start with verse 51, a familiar story where Jesus of course doesn't follow his parents back.

He's in the temple debating with all of the scribes and the Pharisees and astounding them with his knowledge and he finally is accosted by his parents as they find him there and he follows them back home. And it says in verse 52, and Jesus the boy, perhaps 12, 11, 12 years of age, kept increasing in four ways, in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and in favor with man. That gives us the implication that children have four deep needs that are the parent's responsibility to nurture and develop as they are being reared in the home. The first is a child lacks wisdom and even as we observe the humanity of Jesus Christ he lacked wisdom and wisdom of course is that discerning ability to discern between that which is right and wrong, between that which is safe and dangerous, between that which is immoral and pure. So a child being reared in your home will discover by instruction and teaching what is wise, what is the difference between right and wrong, safe and dangerous. My twin sons three and a half years old think that it would be perfectly okay for them to drive home from church. They can't understand why they can't steer.

Well I know why they can't steer, I want to get home. They don't understand what's safe and what is dangerous. Your child even though he may or she may be 13 or 14 or 17 still may not have been able to distinguish between those friends that are healthy and those friendships that are destructive and we give them that kind of instruction so that they learn wisdom.

There's a second need and that is stature. You could write into the margin of your Bible maturity. That isn't just talking about how tall they get, that is a relation to how mature they are. Have you ever caught yourself saying, my goodness, children grow up so fast nowadays? Of course you have, anybody over 20 says that.

Well, believe it or not, it's true. They are actually growing up faster today than ever before. I read some fascinating statistics in the 1600s, puberty occurred between the ages of 18 and 20. In fact, the Bach boys choir, they sang until they were 18, then their voices started cracking.

Imagine that. Now they are saying because of the overexposure to sex, immorality, children are decreasing or the level of puberty is decreasing four months every decade. They're saying now puberty occurs at 11.

Wait 20 years and it'll be 10 and a half and so on and so forth. A home is a place where a child can be a child, where we turn off all of the influences that push them to grow up, that push them into a sin-sick mold where they think they've got to be adults at 13 or 15 or 16, letting them take their time maturing. There's a deep need for what I believe is a slow maturation in your children. That's not the place to tease them if they don't grow up fast enough or as fast as you think they should, if they are short or tall.

It is the haven. In fact, I think we have taken out of our society and our homes that ingredient that protects children and it is this, naivety. Children are no longer naive. I can remember in fifth grade, I mean if I held a girl's hand I'd get cooties. You remember hearing about cooties?

Now I know how wise my parents were. See there is some naivety there that is no longer there that desperately needs to be there. You teach your children that Santa Claus exists, I'll stay off your back. I'm teaching my children cooties exist so don't bother me. It is a place where children mature. And I think if we have godly homes our children may mature slower. But that isn't a sign to be up in arms.

That's a protection. There's a third and that is favor with God. In other words, a child doesn't automatically know how to relate to God. One of the first questions will be, you know, who is he? How big is he? Where does he live? How do I pray? How do I talk to him?

Does he see me? And all of those questions relate to favor with God. And the home is the place where we instruct them in how to relate to God. They may never adopt that.

Our prayer is that they will. But we teach them the relationship with God is primary. And then of course, fourthly, favor with men. Children are primarily selfish. Children are born for the me and the mine and they will never learn to relate to people until that is instructed out of them or they learn to control that.

And so here we find that children have a lack of favor with men and what we do is we teach them how to respond to men unselfishly in a giving way with responsibility. Remember breaking a window when I was a little kid? It was a beautiful hit.

Man, one of the best. Right on the meat of the bat, that thing went sailing. Two yards over, it crashed through a lady's window. Do you know what I did? Well, you know what I did. You do the same thing. I hightailed it out of there.

Finally got caught and of course my parents took me by the hand and led me back over there to apologize and to pay. What were they teaching me? They were teaching me how to have favor with men because left to myself, I would do anything that I wanted to do and try to get away with it. And yet the home is the place where we're instructed how to relate to people. Those are four important needs that children have and if you've ever wondered why the godly home is under attack, that's exactly why.

Because that is the place where children are learning those kinds of things. Turn to Ephesians chapter six and let me give you two more reasons why a godly home will be under attack. The four reasons I've just given you because the child learns wisdom, how to relate to God, how to relate to men, how to mature.

But also, Paul gives us some insight. Here is the command expanded, if you would, in Ephesians chapter six verse one. And by the way, young people, this is the only command in scripture specifically given to a child or to you. Now, the word children could be translated tekna or it is tekna which can be translated anyone under the authority of mom and dad. So in other words, as long as I am under their authority, as long as I am in the home, whether it's 18 or 19 or whatever that may be, that is when this command applies to me. That's why I believe it's a temporary expansion or an addition.

The one we're going to look at in a moment in Exodus is a permanent attitude but this is temporary. It says this, children, obey your parents in the Lord. The word obey is hupakua which means to hear and to be under.

It's a compound word. You put that together and make English sense out of it and what he is saying is he wants the children to get under the authority of mom and dad and to listen, to hear under. Now he's probably expecting a debate and so he adds the next few words. For this is right. Where are the reports on that one?

Where are the statistics? It doesn't matter. All he's saying is children, obey the authority of your parents because this is right. And you know how irritating it is for mom and dad to tell you to do something? It all sounds just like a dad here. Children, obey your parents.

Why? Because it's right. And I think here's the principle. In a home, a child learns to respect authority. Not only the above four reasons if you're following in your notes but secondly because it's the home where a child learns to respect authority. This of course is so important because this provides the foundation for a child knowing how to respond to the authority of God. You allow your child to disobey you, you are destroying the potential for them to have a healthy understanding of what it means to respond to the authority of God. So we begin there and they learn to respect and to respond.

I wanted to read you some statistics that I got that show you what our society is doing in terms of this one popular speaker that travels around has written several best selling books. He says he looks for a day where there will be no schools, no families, no parent-child relationships. He says we must settle for nothing less than the total elimination of the family.

He has a very big problem with authority. You know, if you go over to Romans chapter one, in fact go over there. Romans chapter one, back up. Romans chapter one, I want you to see something. I'm not saying that disobedience to parents is something new.

It isn't. In fact, G. Campbell Morgan, a great expositor, said this. He said, never in any day has there been such a blight of children disobeying parents than today. It's a sign of Christ's soon return.

And he wrote that in 1901. This isn't new. This is going all the way back to Cain and Abel.

But there is something that I believe is alarmingly new. And it's found in Romans chapter one. Look at the list of sins that he says will indicate the degradation of a society when God in effect gives up. Verse 30, there will be slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents. Now that's not new. But what I find alarming is the last verse.

Look. And although they know the ordinance of God that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, note this, but they also give hearty approval to those who practice it. So what's happening in our society today? Disobedience is finding hearty approval. Let me read you this. Officials are recommending quote, that laws dealing with the rights of parents be reexamined when they infringe on the rights of children. There is hearty approval for children being disobedient. Hold onto your hat. Let me read you this.

The bad thing about this is this is 12 years old. A senator writes his constituents, dear friends, do you believe that children should have the right to sue their parents for being forced to attend church? Should children be eligible for minimum wage if they're asked to do household chores? Do you believe that children should have the right to choose their own family? If radical anti-family forces have their way, this UN-sponsored program will become an all-out assault on our traditional family structure. And what's at the very bottom of it? It is the degradation of a society that not only allows children to disobey, but it approves.

No longer are you under the authority of mom and dad. So what do we say to that? How can we combat that?

Let me tell you, we can't. We will in our own lives, however, take at face value what Paul says in Ephesians chapter 6. Children, obey. Get under the authority and listen to your parents because it's right. The home produces respect for authority.

Let me give you another one. The home recognizes or provides a recognition of values. And the first value or absolute is obedience.

I know you're probably as moved as I am when you hear statistics. And I believe that our homes are to a very large degree failing in providing values and absolutes. But I also believe that families are having to battle a great deal of influences to keep their children protected and pure. We're living in a day where children are bombarded with information. They are exposed to things that we would never speak about. I read a statistic that says that 88% or nearly 90% of all sexual situations depicted on TV are outside of marriage.

90%! Is it any wonder this statistic is the 1 million girls between the age of 12 and 17 get pregnant every year and over half, by the way, will abort that child. 10 million teenagers have venereal disease and every day 5,000 teenagers are infected. One child in five uses drugs twice a week and it could go on and on and on and on and on. I've heard parents say, oh, I don't want to pressure my children into adopting my set of values.

I want you to wake up. You know why? Because your child is being pressured to adopt a set of values already. There are three forces. Their peers, they will choose. Their ungodly society and yours. The question is who has the upper hand?

Who has the most impact? God has designed it to be mom and dad. Now you'll notice Paul gives us a balance here in case us dads really become overbearing.

There's four fathers. Don't provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and the instruction of the Lord. So balance this with a loving instruction. Nurturing. That's a beautiful word. It's not bang, bang, bang.

It is let me show you how and what and why. The question that this text raises to me and especially in this society is this. Where are the dads? You know, he didn't say mothers instruct your children. He is taking the ball and laying it in the lap of the father in that home. And there may be single moms here who are facing the incredible difficulty of raising that child.

And I believe God's grace will be evident to you as you follow him. But if there's a mom and a dad in home, it isn't the mom who gets the dad out of the sack on Sunday morning. It isn't the mom who makes sure the kids are in Sunday school. It is the dad. In fact, it's interesting when you remember when that group of people brought their children to Jesus for Jesus to touch them, for Jesus to hold them on his lap.

You remember that story? And the disciples rebuked them for bringing their children. In the original, that is a masculine pronoun.

He rebuked them men. You know who were bringing their children to see Jesus Christ? It was the fathers.

Not only evaluate your own home, but just think of what's happening today. The dads are gone. They're absent.

They're preoccupied. The father has become the simple provider that makes sure the kids have clothes on their back and food on the table and a roof over our heads and I've done my job and God says you haven't even begun. You are the spiritual nurturer. And you thought I was going to talk to children today. Turn to Exodus now. Let's take a look.

Let's talk to children. Exodus chapter 20. Let's see the command itself. Paul amplified and built upon that basic principle and gave it a temporary addition.

While you are under their authority, you obey them because it's right. But now if you'll turn to Exodus chapter 20 verse 12, you'll notice that something is missing and this hit me like a ton of bricks this past week. I have always read this and thought that there was something in here that I just assumed was there. But if you look at that command, you'll notice somebody's missing.

Who's missing? The children. You notice what he simply says?

Honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged. He isn't talking about little children. In fact, this is a general principle. Are you the son or daughter of someone? Well, of course you are. Then you, not the teknon, not the little child or the teenager that's under the authority.

It's you and you and you and me. We all permanently honor our mothers and our fathers. He writes verse 12. Honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Let me give you two thoughts under honoring.

The word caveid in Hebrew has two implications. The first is responsibility. Turn to Mark, the second gospel of the New Testament, and I want to show you how this is illustrated by Jesus himself.

Mark chapter 7. He says, you nicely or you neatly set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your traditions. For Moses said, honor your father and mother, and he who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death. But you say, if a man says to his father or his mother anything of mine, you might have been helped by his korban, that is, this is dedicated to God.

Now let's back up for just a second and take a note of what's happening. These people were greedy. These religionists knew that Moses had said, honor your mother and father, and they immediately assumed that was financial help once they could not care for themselves. So what they had to do in order to continue their own materialistic pursuits, they had to find a way around this rule, this law, this commandment. And so they came up with a brilliant idea. They said, what we'll do is take our money that's left over and we'll give it a pronouncement, a dedication to God.

We'll call it korban. So mom and dad, you wouldn't want this money. We've dedicated this to God. And as a result, according to this text, the parents were being neglected who needed financial help. I've talked to a number of you. I've talked with my wife about this situation in regards to her own mother. And I realize that some of you right now are in the middle of caring for a mother and a father who can't take care of themselves. Some of you are facing the prospects, maybe very soon, of taking care of a mother or a father. As difficult as it may be for you or for your particular situation, in some it may be wonderful.

It may be a tremendous experience. Others, it may be very difficult. But in all of these different experiences, we don't evaluate how we treat mom and dad on the basis of how we feel. We treat them on the basis of what God says. And implied in this command is a responsibility financially.

I'm not going to tell you how. That's something that you must decide before the Lord. The question is, are we taking care of them when they can no longer take care of themselves? Responsibility. There's a second.

Before I give you the second one, I got to give you this. I saw a bumper sticker. It looked like a middle-aged couple. And the bumper sticker said, I hope I live long enough to make my kids regret it. Boy, that's the attitude, you know, today. And yet, there shouldn't be regret. It should be an open house and an open arm and the privilege and responsibility of giving our children this cycle of unending, unselfish love. Where our parents raised us, they get to the point where we in a sense take care of them. And our children observe that and they do the same to us.

This is a cycle that God has designed. I've read that today, if you have a child, one, two, three years of age, you will spend raising them, putting them through college, at least $350,000 per child. You're thinking, where am I going to get that money from? Put them to work, right?

No. I'll tell you what. $350,000. What a financial responsibility that is. And what we do then is we turn right back around and we invest it back in them. We take care of them when they can no longer take care of themselves, just as they did for us. Somebody said, if you want to be wealthy, never have children.

There are a few fortunate people who have money left over and have children, but for most of us, it is having children and that is the financial commitment of our life. And for us, our parents had that same commitment and we turn it back and we give it right back to them as a way of honoring mother and father. Now, there's a second and that's reverence. Responsibility and reverence. The word honor literally means weighty.

That's its first usage and it came down to develop a word that meant important. That is, you hold a person important if you honor them. You consider their advice weighty. That is, you never get to the point if your parents are alive that you slough off their opinions. We still, in a sense, respect what mom and dad have to say. We are no longer under that temporary addition to obey what mom and dad say, but you'd be an unwise person to take their advice, having observed them go down the path of life and turn right back around and say, well, I don't care what you say, I'm not listening.

I consider myself young, but compared to some of my peers, I would be considered too old to do what I do and that is talk and receive counsel from my parents. Some of you have godly moms and dads. Some of you may not have parents who love the Lord, but yet you reverence them.

That is, you hold them as weighty. You respect the gray hair. You respect the age.

They've been down the path and God says, never check them off. Always have an open ear for what they have to say. I wrote down a couple of ways of honoring parents. One is listen. Two, show appreciation.

You could develop this list yourself. Respect their opinion. Express your love. I was a freshman in college and received a note. My brother and I, my older brother and I were attending the same school, university, and received a note that my mother had contracted some disease. They hadn't been able to pinpoint it and in fact had told my father she would die and to prepare for that. Now, you'd have to know my parents to know how in the world they ever got to that point without ever letting us know.

They didn't want to disturb our studies. So we finally got the note and my brother, we had enough money for him to fly, so he flew. He was going to meet and be there with my father.

I would be left at college and just have to wait and see what in the world would happen. And there as an 18-year-old for the first time it hit me as I thought that I could possibly lose my mother, that I couldn't remember the last time that I told her I loved her. And so I did something that made me feel really, really awkward. But I sat down at a table as my brother was packing his bags and I wrote what you could call a love letter to my mother. And I expressed to her my feelings. My brother took the note, put it in his bag, went to the hospital and there was my father sitting beside her and he gave my dad the note among other things. She was in a coma and it was read to her while she was in a coma. We haven't talked a lot about that note, but that day changed me because now I never talk to her on the phone. I never see her without saying, Mom, I love you.

Now it took that and I'm one of the fortunate people that had an opportunity to see her again and to tell her face to face. Leo Boscaglia, a very popular professor at UCLA, very traditional, perhaps even a Christian, has a class where he teaches values and his classes are packed out every semester. And he begins every semester by asking his students to go back to their dorm and to write a paper. And their paper is to be on the subject what they would do if they had five days to live. They write the paper and they come back.

A couple of days later, the paper is returned without a grade, but written across the top in bold letters are the words, what are you waiting for? Do you honor your parents? Do you reverence your parents? Do it now. Every time we encounter a command from God, that should be our response, shouldn't it?

Do it now. This fifth commandment, honor your father and mother, has very practical implications, and we hope it helped you today. You're listening to Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey. Stephen's entitled today's lesson from this vintage wisdom series through the book of Exodus, a parent's bill of rights.

If you'd like to listen to this lesson again, or if there's people that you'd like to share it with, we've made it possible for you to do that. We've posted it to our website. That address is wisdomonline.org. At the top of the page, you'll see a link for our daily broadcasts. Once you get there, you can also learn more about us and access the complete library of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry. Stephen has been the pastor of the Shepherd's Church in Cary, North Carolina, for the last 35 years. Over that time, he's preached hundreds of messages to that congregation. So if you ever miss one of these lessons, you can go to our website and keep caught up with our daily Bible teaching ministry. Visit there anytime, and of course, join us back here for our next broadcast of Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-19 11:41:12 / 2023-03-19 11:52:03 / 11

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